Billed as Germany's "anti-Trump", centre-left former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected on 12th
Feb as the new ceremonial head of state.
The 61-year-old regularly polls as Germany's most popular politician.
He will represent the EU's top economy abroad and act as a kind of moral arbiter for the nation.
His Social Democrats (SPD) hope the appointment will boost their fortunes.
Their candidate Martin Schulz, the former European parliament president, readies to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in September elections.
Steinmeier received 931 of 1,239 valid votes after Merkel's conservatives, lacking a strong candidate of their own, agreed to back him to replace incumbent Joachim Gauck, 77, a former pastor from ex-communist East Germany.
The vote was held in Berlin's glass-domed Reichstag building by a special Federal Assembly, made up of national lawmakers and electors sent from Germany's 16 states.
Though the trained lawyer is usually measured in his speech, in the thick of last year's US election campaign Steinmeier labelled Donald Trump a "hate preacher".
As Steinmeier has prepared for the new post, which he assumes on March 19, he has vowed to serve as a "counterweight to the trend of boundless simplification.”
He is calling this approach "the best antidote to the populists".
A policy wonk by nature, Steinmeier served as advisor and then chief of staff to Merkel's predecessor, the SPD's Gerhard Schroeder.
In 2009, Steinmeier ran against Merkel and lost badly, only to return years later to serve in her cabinet.
Steinmeier is well known in the world's capitals, but his appointment worries some in eastern Europe, who see him as too soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Having Steinmeier move into the presidential Bellevue Castle in Berlin has emboldened the SPD.
For Germany's SDP, Steinmeier's election is a prelude to something bigger to come: a victory in September's elections against Merkel, according to some analysts.